India’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Banks’ Dealing With Crypto Firms

India’s Supreme Court strikes down Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) controversial ban on banks’ dealing with crypto-related firms.

Back in April 2018, RBI, India’s central bank had imposed a ban on banks’ dealings with crypto businesses which came into effect in July of that year.

The ban went into effect three months later and banks subsequently closed the accounts of crypto exchanges, forcing some of them to shut down, including ZebpayCoindelta, and Koinex.

Even with a banking ban, the Indian crypto community found a way to continue buying, selling, and trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. A number of crypto exchanges launched peer-to-peer trading in order to continue providing INR access to their users.

Several exchange service providers recently made announcements regarding their services. For example, U.K.-based banking platform Cashaa has been expanding its operations in India and is now offering no-fee deposits and withdrawals.

Global exchange Binance and popular Indian exchange Wazirx joined forces, with the latter launching India’s first initial exchange offering (IEO).

Furthermore, Zebpay, formerly one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the country, relaunched in India, ahead of the supreme court judgment. For the relaunch, the platform is offering five crypto-to-crypto trading pairs with no trading fees for the entire month.

Big Win For The Indian Crypto Community

Following both public and industry-led petitions, against the central bank was brought before the Supreme Court by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

IAMAI is a not-for-profit industry body whose mandate is to appeal to governments on behalf of internet industry consumers, shareholders and investors. Members include Yahoo! India, Apple, eBay, Unocoin and Etsy.

Hearings for the challenge were held over two weeks in January of this year.

The court’s bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, S Ravindra Bhat, and V Ramasubramanian, delivered the judgment earlier today, March 4, litigation news site Live Law reported.

The court heard extensive arguments from the counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Ashim Sood, followed by the counsel representing several crypto exchanges, Nakul Dewan.

Everyone wanted to see Mr. Ashim Sood who represented the Crypto side in the Court. Here is the pic on public demand. From right to left: Mr. Jaideep Reddy (@jrtechlaw), Mr. Ashim Sood, Mr. Harish (@bvharish – Unocoin) and Mr. Mohammed Danish (@DaniAdvocate– Crypto Kanoon). — Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) March 4, 2020

The development comes almost two years after trading in virtual currency was banned by RBI.

A big win for the Indian crypto industry, who succeeded in challenging the April 2018 ban from the RBI. Now with the complete ban on cryptocurrencies, it will likely come as a big relief to virtual currency proponents in the country.

Indeed, prior to the restrictions placed on the cryptocurrency industry, India is considered a hub for innovation regarding the crypto industry. Thus, the removal of crypto ban by the regulators could revive Bitcoin investment and the level of technological developments for other projects.


Image Credits: Shutterstock


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